While it's been widely reported that the March earthquake and tsunami has severely affected the production of the Japan's major carmakers, one brand has suffered the most. Toyota, which unseated General Motors as the world's largest carmaker in terms of sales in 2009, has dropped to the third spot, Bloomberg.com said.
According to the report, General Motors sold 4.536 million units in the first half of 2011 while Toyota, including its Lexus luxury brand and affiliates Daihatsu Motor and Hino Motors, only sold 3.71 million units. Selling the second most number of cars as of June 30 is Volkswagen with 4.13 million units.
Toyota's output has reportedly dropped by 23 percent as it produced only 3.37 million units in the first half of 2011. The company had to temporarily halt production following the double disaster that struck Japan on March 11. Toyota has said, though, that it expects its production recovery phase to start by September, one month ahead of the carmaker’s original goal.
"Even if Toyota recovers production, it will take another few more months for sales to actually recover," Bloomberg.com quoted Takeshi Miyao, an analyst at consulting company Carnorama in Tokyo." Toyota's sales may trail behind Volkswagen in the full-year as well."